Rabbi Berel Wein

Do individuals affect history?

In the book of Genesis, the Torah emphasizes to us that history and great events spring forth from the actions of individuals, 11/12/2019, 11:58 AM

The rainbow

The rainbow has great significance to humanity and is not to be observed and thought of as being merely another of the great many phenomena that we call nature. , 11/4/2019, 11:26 AM

Measuring time

Now that the holidays are over, how do we greet the months ahead?, 10/22/2019, 10:03 AM

Haazinu: Jewish angst

There appears to be a continuing and gnawing frustration and feeling of dissatisfaction that is present in Jewish society, no matter how great our material blessings and social successes are. , 10/10/2019, 12:50 PM

Constantly growing - Vayelech

The greatness of our teacher Moshe lies in the fact that until the last day of his life he was actively pursuing his goals. , 10/4/2019, 7:27 AM

Dinosaurs and phones

I am blissfully unable to text or receive texts, cannot take pictures, cannot record conversations or lectures or face time using my prehistoric phone., 7/17/2019, 7:16 AM

Great people can be wrong, even when they are Jewish

The Jewish people traditionally are hasty people. New ideas capture them and to a certain extent, cause a type of mass hysteria that blindsides them., 6/23/2019, 12:14 PM

Raise your head and be counted

The Torah abhors slackers., 6/12/2019, 4:05 PM

Nationhood and freedom - two concepts, two holidays

Why Shavuot is the holiday of nationhood., 6/6/2019, 12:59 PM

Bamidbar (Israel): Numerical standstill

Numerically speaking, in comparison to the numbers in this week's reading, the Jewish census has been at pretty much of a standstill over all of these long centuries,, 5/29/2019, 4:00 PM

Behar (for Israel): Being Jewish requires spiritual mountain climbing

Life is never smooth or easy – a flat plain, simple to traverse. Rather, it is always an uphill climb that many times leaves us short of breath and doubtful of hope. (Parashat Behar is read in Israel this Shabbat)., 5/15/2019, 9:40 PM

Kedoshim: No shortcuts to holiness

The sheer number of commandments that govern every aspect of Jewish life emphasizes to us the proportion of the task that lies before us., 4/28/2019, 8:24 AM

No guarantee in matters of desire: Acharei Mot

There is no guarantee or guardian for human beings when it comes to matters of desire and physical sexuality - which is the reason for detailed Torah strictures on the issue. , 4/25/2019, 3:51 PM

Education for altriuism is a long process

The Torah is aware of the difficulty of coercing altruism on the part of human beings., 3/25/2019, 12:00 PM

Purim always

The fixation of the rest of the world on the Jewish people and Judaism is one of the great inexplicable mysteries of human existence., 3/19/2019, 6:38 AM

Childhood and the pursuit of holiness

Holiness is something that human beings must create. It is ephemeral and intangible, difficult to define and yet it can be glimpsed and experienced., 3/15/2019, 7:51 AM

Population statistics - there is no Judaism without Jews

In order for Judaism and its value system to continue to operate and be of influence in world society, there must be a physical Jewish people. The Jews are counted often in the Torah., 2/24/2019, 6:23 AM

The eternal light

There are two forms of eternity in human affairs and history., 2/17/2019, 7:53 AM

Mute testimony

Wherever synagogue buildings existed, the Jewish community was able to bring forth generations and remain vital and productive. , 2/10/2019, 12:56 PM

The pessimists among us

The rabbis stated it in a pithy manner in the Talmud: “is it not sufficient that one is alive?" , 1/31/2019, 7:37 AM

Validation from non-Jews

It has always been that the Jewish people craved validation from the outside world for principles and beliefs that we know to be valid and correct but with which we feel uncomfortable unless others are willing to agree with us on these matters., 1/27/2019, 9:04 AM

Food from heaven

In spite of it being an obvious gift directly from heaven, or perhaps ironically, because it was such an obvious gift from heaven, the Jewish people tended to grumble about it. Why? , 1/22/2019, 7:59 AM

Using psychology in dealing with Pharaoh

Pharaoh's behavior is illogical, unrealistic and self-destructive., 1/9/2019, 9:22 PM

Heaven answers always with a non-sequitur.

The questions are better left unasked., 1/6/2019, 4:59 PM

Shmot: Why did G-d choose someone with a checkered past?:

Things never happen the way we think they should happen. The people who lead us are not always the people who we think we should lead us., 12/26/2018, 1:07 PM

Vayechi: The end of an era

This is a paradigm, an example for all Jewish history and life., 12/19/2018, 7:10 AM

MIketz: Pharaoh does not realize he is the center of a drama

It is noteworthy to see how quickly Pharaqoh raises Joseph. He could just have said, "Well, thank you for the interpretation of the dream.", 12/7/2018, 2:59 PM

The loss of a beloved spouse

The past doesn't leave us, but it is those who look towards the future who continue to lead fruitful lives., 11/7/2018, 8:37 AM

Life lessons from the story of Creation

The narrative contained in this week’s beginning portion of the Torah is not only a story of the past, but it is just as importantly a description of our present world and society, 10/5/2018, 2:29 PM

Feeling at home in the Sukkah

The rabbis always felt that a shack in Jerusalem was worthier and more protective than a great palace elsewhere., 9/27/2018, 7:46 AM

Haazinu: Are you deaf to the message of Moses?

I would think that by now the Jewish people would be aware that it is impossible, and even dangerous, to ignore the message of Moshe and of Jewish tradition., 9/20/2018, 2:48 PM

One day the students will remember what their teacher said long ago

Moses, the greatest teacher of all time, knew that what he says will take many years to be understood., 9/13/2018, 8:30 PM

Standing strong and resilient

How is it that the Jewish people, not numerous and for the most of its history, powerless and stateless, has somehow been able to survive and even thrive?, 9/6/2018, 9:58 AM

Twenty five years since Oslo - a story of faded hopes

The naysayers were silenced, if not pilloried and deplored -you had to believe that Arafat was another Mandela to be allowed to speak., 8/31/2018, 7:20 AM

The 20th century: What happened?

The world that began the 20th century had vanished completely by the middle of that century., 8/20/2018, 3:18 PM

A judge can only judge by what his eyes allow him to see.

We are to realize that ultimate justice is most times beyond our abilities., 8/16/2018, 1:40 PM

Looking forward

Remembering past troubles and tragedies never completely inhibited us from looking forward., 8/14/2018, 4:47 AM

The Jewish People's propensity to make bad choices

Geniuses are not necessarily the best of teachers because they cannot understand why the students are so dense and do not understand what is so patently obvious. , 8/8/2018, 3:56 PM

Vaetchanan: The two Ten Commandment texts

There is fascinating discussion over the centuries as to what the text that was inscribed on the tablets of stone actually stated. , 7/26/2018, 12:34 PM

After the fast

After the fast day of mourning on the ninth day of Av come seven weeks of resilience and rehabilitation. , 7/22/2018, 9:11 PM

We cannot choose how we will be remembered

Often in human experience, individuals, even if they live long and productive lives with many different experiences and accomplishments, are nevertheless remembered and always associated with one individual situation and life altering decision., 7/6/2018, 2:34 PM

This three-week period

Today's State of Israel is a product of this three-week period, yet there are those who say we should cease mourning the Temple now that we have our own sovereignty. They are misguided., 7/4/2018, 8:02 AM

Moses' anger

Moshe was subject to becoming angry at certain occasions during his 40-year leadership of the Jewish people. Which?, 6/14/2018, 12:26 PM

What happened to the Conservative Movement?

What caused the decline of a movement that once was seen by many as a force, for good and for bad, in American Jewish society? , 6/13/2018, 10:30 AM

Majority rules is not always the right decision

A Jewish Congressman famously stated a century ago that God and one constitute a majority. , 6/9/2018, 9:55 PM

Hot summers

Rabbi Yisrael Lipkin of Salant said that all luxuries eventually become necessities, and this certainly has proven to be the case regarding air conditioning here in Israel., 5/29/2018, 2:56 PM

Nasso: Repetition, repetition

The repetition of the same identical gifts that each of the 12 elders of the tribes of Israel donated to the Tabernacle is there to teach us something., 5/24/2018, 7:55 AM

Abraham described Jerusalem as a mountain

It takes great effort and patience to climb the mountain of spirituality that Jerusalem represents. , 5/8/2018, 5:26 PM

Torah - The forest and the trees at one and the same time

It would be unthinkable that the Torah would command us to be a Holy nation dedicated to the service of God and human beings without telling us how this was to be achieved. (Diaspora reading), 4/26/2018, 8:51 AM

Ever young

We are an ever-young people whose past is ever present and that is how we are privileged to celebrate 70 years of our own country's independence., 4/19/2018, 9:58 AM

Psychological and mental healing

The connection between the outside world, human physiology and psychology is one whose mechanics we do not understand, but whose effects and therapies can be measured., 4/11/2018, 6:49 PM

Sympathy comes from the heart and not from the tongue.

Aaron stayed silent when his sons died. It is interesting to note that throughout the world hospitals contain signs that ask for silence. , 3/29/2018, 11:51 AM

Having the Seder at home

It is no exaggeration to say that the Jewish world is founded on the night of the Pesach Seder., 3/21/2018, 4:24 PM

God calls out to us

It is the still small voice that is heard that rings in our mind and pricks our conscience., 3/14/2018, 9:10 PM

The logic behind Sabbath prohibitions :Vayakhel-Pikudei

if the Jewish people were prohibited from building and constructing the Mishkan/Tabernacle on Shabbat then why were they allowed and in fact commanded to operate and conduct the sacrificial service in that building on Shabbat? , 3/7/2018, 6:27 PM

Purim will be celebrated eternally, even when the Messiah comes

At first glance, this seems to be a very strange observation. , 3/1/2018, 1:08 PM